The Institute for Emerging Philanthropists

Identifying and nurturing the community’s emerging philanthropic leaders is a key initiative of The Center for Family Philanthropy at Akron Community Foundation.

The Institute for Emerging Philanthropists is an exclusive educational program designed to support, inspire and cultivate this developing group of donors.

Through the institute, participants are exposed to the critical needs of the community and taught innovative, evidence-based methods of practicing strategic philanthropy, while connecting with a network of highly motivated charitable professionals. This structured seven-session program (September – June) helps participants identify their personal philanthropic goals and develop plans for a lifelong commitment to improving our community.

Course Content

Course content includes lectures, site visits and workshops focusing on:

  • Building a philanthropic plan
  • Values, identity and interests
  • Local and national philanthropy
  • Evaluating nonprofits – financially and beyond
  • Professional advisor collaboration – many ways to give
  • Strategic grantmaking

Students of the institute are required to make a fully tax-deductible gift of $2,500 for grantmaking. Akron Community Foundation is proud to match this gift, which will allow the class to utilize the skills they’ve discovered during their training to complete a grantmaking process. Those grant(s) will be announced at the culminating graduation ceremony.

Candidate Criteria

The Institute for Emerging Philanthropists is suited for individuals between the ages of 25-45 who have a strong desire to build their skills in strategic philanthropy. Ideally, candidates are already involved in significant giving through charitable entities such as private family foundations or donor-advised funds.

Upon receiving a nomination, prospective students of the institute will complete a class application. Selected students will then be interviewed by a staff member of The Center for Family Philanthropy and a member of the institute’s selection committee to evaluate his or her interests and goals. The selection committee will make final recommendations for student selections. Nominees will be notified about their application status and class size will be limited to no more than 15 students.

For more information about joining the Institute for Emerging Philanthropists, contact Karen A. Hrdlicka, director of The Center for Family Philanthropy, at or 330-436-5640.

Emerging Philanthropists Alumni Network

Upon completion of the program, graduates of the Institute for Emerging Philanthropists are invited to join the Emerging Philanthropists Alumni Network for continued education and networking opportunities. In addition to ongoing philanthropic activities, this group also serves as the advisory committee of the Institute for Emerging Philanthropists Alumni Endowment Fund, established by the institute’s inaugural class.

Karen A. Hrdlicka
Karen A. Hrdlicka Director, The Center for Family Philanthropy
Call me at 330-436-5640 or email me
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